Oak and Ice

oak and ice berlin gluten free

It seems that 2016 shall be known as the year of the good gluten free ice cream, although this may be mostly due to me personally eating a lot more of it this summer.  But there are a few new standouts and Oak and Ice on Schönhauser Allee is definitely one of them with a much higher quality of ice cream than usual.

First off, the place is gorgeous and around 5000 times better that other ice cream places in terms of seating and comfort.

oak and ice gluten free ice cream berlin

I’d actually go far as to say it’s more of a cafe than an ice cream parlour.

They have a pretty great selection of ice creams, although at the moment they’ve stopped labelling which are gluten free.  I’m not sure why they’ve done this, but they do say that their sorbets are all gluten free but only after asking will you be told that the other ice creams are all gluten free apart from one (the oreo cookie one on my visits).  This is a little worrying as you’re completely relying on the staff behind the counter to really know what they’re doing and as we’ve mentioned before, most people do not.  Add to this that almost every time I have been, I’ve asked if the ice cream is gluten free, ordered and then been offered the ice cream in a cone.  Suffice to say a little labelling and staff training would go a long long way here.

To be honest though, I wouldn’t be giving them a hard time if they were not offering things like this.

glutenfrei eis berlin oak and ice

Yes, the signs are somewhat hard to read, but that’s a gluten free ice cream sandwich written right there.  So, on my first visit, I ordered one, because what else would you do?

gluten free ice cream sandwich berlin oak and ice

Honestly, it wasn’t that great.  The cookies are from Jute Backerei next door and they’re good as British style biscuits but not really the american chewy cookie that you need for an ice cream sandwich.  They’re just very very dense.

But, on the bright side, the Marscapone and Fig ice cream within was absolutely amazing.

gluten free ice cream in bowl oak and ice berlin

Not to mention the salted caramel varieties (they are ridiculously good).  Even their plain ol’ regular boring just vanilla is out of this world.

They do have a cake selection too, but I’ve only seen one or two gluten free options there.

oak and ice gluten free cakes berlin

All of the cake options I’ve seen are from Jute Backerei also.

In conclusion, definitely go and visit, their ice cream is simply the best I’ve had in the entire city.  But be careful, double check and ask them to cater more to gluten free people.

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Shop Review – glusto.com

If you’re a long time reader of this blog you’ll know that I’m a big fan of something new or different.  The variety that you have in gluten free food here in Germany is very small compared to my home country of Britain.  Not that I have a problem with the Schaer/Schnitzer/Seitz of the world, it’s great that they provide all the every day items, but sometimes I’d like something a little more special.

Thankfully, some entrepreneurs are setting up online shops just to fill that niche.   Today we’re talking about glutso.com, a new Italian based gluten free shop with lots and lots of things you cannot buy here in Germany!  Perfect.  They were kind enough to send me a box of items to try out for a review, a good combination of pastas and cookies and such.

So, let’s just get to it.  First up, the pasta selection.  The pasta you can buy here in Germany is, well, technically pasta.  It’s not terrible, but it is also not great.  Now if there’s one thing you would expect an Italian gluten free shop to have, it’s good pasta.

gluten free pasta glutso

First up is the Tri Colour Pasta.  Just look at it, good packaging and good quality looking pasta.  It is worth noting here that all of this pasta is a little more sensitive to cooking times, so you have to be very careful not to under or over cook it.  I, unfortunately, am not an expert pasta cooker, but even with that I was very happy with what came out.

gluten free tricolour pasta glusto

The texture and flavour are amazing, around 57 times better than any gluten free pasta I’ve tried before.

gluten free corn pasta glusto

glutenfrei mais pasta glusto

Next up is the Corn Pasta, perhaps my favourite out of all the pastas I tried.  It’s the closest I’ve had to regular gluten-filled pasta.

gluten free amaranth fusilli pasta glusto

glutenfrei amaranth fusilli pasta glusto

Next is the Amaranth Fusilli, this one was pretty good but I think I overcooked it a little.  Even with that, it’s still a lot better than any other gluten free pasta I’ve tried.

IMG_3731

glutenfrei kastanie Pennette pasta glusto

Lastly the Chestnut (and rice) Pennette, which again, was a little hard to cook and as a result had a little odd texture to it, but was still pretty good.

Overall, each of these pastas if far above what you can find in any shop here in Germany and I would highly recommend you give them a try.  You may pay a little more, but you are paying for quality.  Plus, they even have Gnocchi!

Next up, biscuits.

gluten free cantuccini glusto

These little almond cantuccini were amazing, certainly the best I’ve had.  They were a little powdery, but the flavour was perfect.

glutenfrei shortbread glusto

Farcighiotto, something I’d never really heard of before, but they’re basically shortbread with a chocolate cream filling in the middle.  They were a little powdery (see my comments below for all of these cookies), but the flavour was great.

glutenfrei kekse chia heidelbeeren

Chia and Blueberry cookies, how amazing does that sound!  These were delicious, if a little powdery also.

glutenfrei Zimtkekse

The same goes for these little cinnamon cookies, amazing flavour but a little powdery.

gluten free ghiottone

glutenfrei hiottone

Next up is Ghiottone, another thing I’ve never really seen before.  This was unfortunately the only real disappointment out of everything I tried, the biscuit part was super dry and powdery and the chocolate wasn’t all that great.

gluten free chocolate muffin

Next up were some little chocolate muffins, which were again delicious, but the texture was a let down and they were prone to crumbling.

glutenfrei joghurt muffin

I’ve never had a yoghurt muffin before, but these were even better than the chocolate ones, but again, a little crumble prone.

gluten free mini tortillas

Last up are some little Teff Tortillas, they were good but have a very distinct flavour that might not be to every-bodies taste.  If you like things made from teff flour, you’ll probably like these though.

So, you may be thinking that the pasta sounds amazing, but you’re not too sure about the crumbly/powdery nature of the cookies and muffins.  Well, yes, it is a little bit of an issue.  But that is what gluten free food is, you’d be hard pressed to find a manufactured cookie that doesn’t have this problem.  Plus, the ones that are less powdery/crumbly are usually full of so many chemicals that I’m not sure how good they really are.  In the end though, for me the flavour made up for any texture problems.

They have a lot more on offer than I’ve reviewed here so be sure go to and have a look through their online shop.

Cafe Review – Eat Performance Bistro Ritterstrasse

gluten free restaurant eat performance berlin

Before I moved to the great city of Berlin, I had absolutely no idea what a Paleo diet was.  In my rather small and parochial hometown we were rather unlikely to ever hear about the concept of a Paleo restaurant, never-mind getting one.  Then back in 2010, Sauvage happened.  Out of the blue I found a diet that just happened to completely align with my various aliments and allergies.  Perfection!  Since then we’ve  had a second Sauvage with their delicious breakfasts.  And up until recently the pair were the only 100% completely gluten free restaurants in the city.  Thankfully though, Paleo is a rather popular diet, and we did not have to wait too long until the second opened up, Eat Performance.

Now, before we start on the review proper.  I have to warn you the place is a little hard to find.  To start, this is the view of the main entrance from the road.

eat performance glutenfrei berlin

Not your average entrance to a cafe/restaurant.  I walked right past on the first attempt and it took me a while before I even noticed the sign on the right of the picture.  But, get a little closer and you’ll see this.

eat performance gluten free sign

Well, at least I know I’m walking in the right direction (although, I have been back and the banner thing wasn’t there).  Inside the (rather lovely) courtyard, you find the actual bistro!

eat performance berlin gluten free bistro

Not the easiest to find.  But certainly not the hardest.

Before I went, I had no idea what to expect from them.  Was this to be fine dining a’la Sauvage?  Well, probably not with the bistro title.  But, you never know!  Inside, it’s rather nice, if a little sparse, and there’s plenty of room.

eat performance glutenfrei bistro

The menu gives you a pretty good run down of what they offer.  ALL GLUTEN FREE!!

eat performance gluten free menu

EGGS! BURGERS! SANDWICHES! Oh my.

Plus, there are plenty of little treats to buy.

gluten free snacks eat performance berlin

 

gluten free muesli eat performance berlin

 

gluten free chia pudding eat performance berlin

I ordered myself just a sandwich (well, it’s not like I get to do that often) and my friend ordered the baked eggs.  Now, it’s at this point I had my first disappointment, the sandwich was not something made to order, not something which came with a side salad or such.  But, it was one of the pre-made sandwiches from the fridge, albeit heated.

gluten free sandwich eat performance berlin

It was a surprise.  But I think more due to my expectations.  My feeling is that there’s a part of the  menu that is aimed more at the working quick lunch crowd and the rest (burgers and such) is more aimed towards sitting in.  This isn’t a problem really though.  Infact it’s great, if I worked nearby it would be a miracle.  It’s what you’d get from a regular lunch bistro, like a normal gluten person.

But, the sandwich was roast beef, and how on earth could I turn that down.

gluten free sandwich eat performance berlin

Yum!  It’s not the best sandwich I’ve ever had (it’s no Friedman’s Lunch in New York), but the bread was rather good.  I’d probably say it’s my favourite bread I’ve had in Berlin (including Jüte, the gluten free bakery), but then, I am a fan of chestnut bread anyway.

The baked egg dish looked a little better than my sandwich, and from my friends reactions, tasted rather good too.

eat performance gluten free baked eggs

Their smoothies are great and I had myself a beetroot filled one.  (I can’t stop stuffing my face with beetroot, I may have a problem).

eat performance glutenfrei smoothie

I have visited once since then and tried one of their burgers.  Look at it.

gluten free burger eat performance berlin

Easily, very easily, the best gluten free burger I have had in Berlin.  I would highly recommend you go and try one.

The only other downside is that their service is rather slow.  It was pretty empty on both of my visits and the food took quite some time to arrive.  If it was busy, I would be concerned.  Hopefully this is just growing pains and they will improve soon.

In conclusion.  Yes, go and eat there, even if just for the burger or the delights of buying a quick takeout sandwich/salad like a normal person.

eat performance berlin

Ps. they do have a second location in Schöneberg which I’ve yet to visit.  I’d expect it to be just as good though.
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Cafe Review – Erste Sahne OTIVM

gluten free erste sahne otivm berlin

I do not make it down to Neukölln often enough these days, partially due to my laziness but also due to the fact that there are so many good gluten free places around Berlin.  There are just so many options that do not require 40 minutes of traveling.  That being said, the enticement of something new, and the nearby excellent Tempelhof former airport/Park, was enough to drag myself down to Erste Sahne OTIVM (I’m not sure why they write the last part in caps, but I feel like I should write it so too).

The first thing to greet you when walking in is a rather nice splattering of menus on the wall.  Just look at all that eis!  All the milk free and egg free options are listed and all was gluten free on my visit (although, I’d definitely recommend double checking with the staff when you visit).  It’s all homemade so you can feel a little safer in the fact that they know what they’re talking about.

gluten free erste sahne otivm ice cream

But, I didn’t come here for Ice Cream (well, at least not initially, more on that later).  I came here to stuff my face with delicious Italian treats.  First things though, just how many options did I have?  What kind of treats could I devour?

gluten free erste sahne otivm torte caprisa

Oooo, look!

gluten free erste sahne otivm cake

Yum!

gluten free erste sahne otivm cookies

I do love blue berries!

gluten free erste sahne otivm

But, cherries are where my heart are so I popped for one of these.

glutenfrei erste sahne otivm

Look at it, just sitting there waiting to be consumed.  It was very good indeed.  Especially as I’m kind of sick of super sweet gluten free cakes and cookies (I guess there is a downside to having lots of gluten free cafes in Berlin).  It was just the right level of sweetness, as in, more of a 60% dark chocolate than a milk chocolate.

But, they do also have a rather delicious looking display of cakes.  I haven’t tried any myself yet (and I’m not exactly sure how many of these options were Gluten Free, possibly 1 or 2) but I have complete faith that they will be equally delicious.

gluten free erste sahne otivm cakes

The place itself is a little on the smaller side and there are not many seats, but it is rather lovely.

gluten free erste sahne otivm berlin inside

Plus, they usually have a wall of little treats and goodies to buy!

gluten free erste sahne otivm treats

You may now be thinking “oh yes, that looks magical, I can’t wait to be there.  But wait, you promised me Ice Cream!!”, so yes, they also have Ice Cream.  But not just your usual milk laden or soy based ice cream.  They have olive oil ice cream.  Now, you may first think that olive oil and ice cream do not work together, but you should just flick yourself in the face for such a thought.  It’s possibly the best ice cream I have had in Berlin (well, the chocolate one I had was) and you should most definitely get down there and give it a try.

glutenfrei erste sahne otivm berlin

In conclusion, should you visit?  YES.  Should you visit multiple times so that you can sample the cakes, cookies, ice cream and all the other gluten free treats? YES, RIGHT NOW!  It’s the first time in a while where I’ve visited a gluten free cafe and found something new, interesting and delicious.  Plus, if it’s moderately nice weather, go and visit the tempelhof park, it’s just around the corner.

Click the banner below to see all the details of this restaurant on our sister site, Allergy Explorer.

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Cafe Review – Eis Voh – Take 2

It’s been a little while since my initial review of Eis Voh as it’s a place that I do not make it to often enough, mostly due to the fact it takes an hour for me to get there.  But recently I found myself down in Friedenau and I decided we were in need of a refresh.  (if you haven’t read my first review, you should click here and read it now, or I’ll start chastising you with ‘bad reader!’ ‘bad reader!’ until you do).

The first thing I noticed is that they they have expanded their selection considerably.  Just look at this little display of pure joy.

Gluten Free Eis Voh Cakes

So many different types of gluten free cakes!  Some of which are also lactose free!  All perfectly labeled and delicious.  But it does not stop there.

Glutenfrei Eis Voh Baked Goods

Little cookies and the like.  I had one of the raspberry cookies on the bottom right, it was rather good and did not survive long enough to have it’s picture taken.  They also have little bags of muesli and cornflakes and such for breakfasts.

Gluten Free Eis Voh

They are also serving meals now, Spätzle, Chilli and a few other options which are all listed on the board next to the door.

If you have not yet visited Eis Voh due to it’s location, you need to slap yourself round the head a bit and make the pilgrimage.  It is easily the best gluten free place in Berlin, even if it is mostly desserts, you’ll come back 2kg heavier, but far happier.

Click the banner below to see all the details of this restaurant on our sister site, Allergy Explorer.
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Cafe Review – Katie’s Blue Cat

One of the things I do miss from my gluten filled days is the ability to sit in a cafe and munch on something fattening and tasty, usually just a smallish snack, the ‘whole slice of cake’ thing always feels like an extravagance to me. Alas, it was about all you could get here in Berlin.  But, thanks to the great foodeinberlin, I found a place which offers freshly baked gluten free cookies in a nice cafe setting (as there are some here that almost offer the food, but lack the comfort and warmth for a lazy afternoon reading a book).

On the day I visited there was just the glutenfrei Peanut Butter Cookies on offer, although I’ve been told by the owner that they have Carob-Coconut-Bites on the weekends, and (if we gluten afflicted ask for it) hopefully more to follow.  The cookie itself was more on the English biscuit side than the American cookie, in the sense that it was quite hard and prone to crumbling.  It did, understandably with the peanut butter, have a distinct American-ness to it though, but, in the end all that matters was that it was rather yummy.

The coffee was pretty good also (made from Bonanza Coffee beans) and they do have Lactose Free milk for those who need it.

The decor is quite nice, esepcially the old timey glass cabinet and storage jars at the front.  In conclusion, well worth a visit, especially if you have gluten eating friends (the place is a treasure trove of goodies for them).

Click the banner below to see all the details of this cafe on our sister site, Allergy Explorer.
Allergy Explorer - Gluten Free food and restaurant listings in Germany